In pursuit of power: The role of authoritarian leadership in the relationship between supervisors' Machiavellianism and subordinates' perceptions of abusive supervisory behavior

Kohyar Kiazad, Simon Lloyd Restubog, Thomas J Zagenczyk, Christian Kiewitz, Robert L Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we considered both supervisor (personality and leadership behavior) and victim characteristics (organization-based self-esteem) in predicting perceptions of abusive supervision. We tested our model in two studies consisting of supervisor?subordinate dyads from Australia and the Philippines. Specifically, we found that: (1) supervisor Machiavellianism was positively associated with subordinate perceptions of abusive supervision; (2) subordinate perceptions of authoritarian leadership behavior fully mediated the relationship between supervisor Machiavellianism and abusive supervision, and (3) organization-based self-esteem (OBSE) moderated the relationship between authoritarian leadership and abusive supervision, such that low-OBSE employees were more likely to perceive higher levels of authoritarian leadership as abusive. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512 - 519
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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